The convergence of the 5th anniversary of "shock and awe" with Christian Holy Week and Iraq Moratorium #7 has sparked hundreds of antiwar actions across the country this week.
The Iraq Moratorium, a loosely-knit grassroots movement, is usually observed on the Third Friday of every month, but March events are spread throughout the week.
It began last weekend, when more than 500 people gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Church of San Francisco for a rally, march and vigil.
Speakers included Daniel Ellsberg, State Sen. Carole Migden and former San Francisco Supervisor and current Green Party vice presidential candidate Matt Gonzalez.
Ellsberg invited the crowd at the church to join him in a "die in" Wednesday at noon outside the San Francisco office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein. "We may be arrested for disturbing the peace," he said. "But there is no peace.
Golden Gate XPress, the student newspaper at San Francisco State University, reports:
[Cindy]Sheehan,(right) a congressional candidate ... concluded the event by reflecting on her personal loss. She told the story of her son who was killed in the third bloody mission into Sadr City, a mission forced upon him against his will.Because the Moratorium, which encourages local grassroots action on the Third Friday of every month, coincides with the Christian observance of Good Friday, March 21, some actions will include a religious theme.
“Today I have one dead son,” she said to a silent hall, using a tissue to dry a tear. “When your child is killed in a war, they always say ‘Your child volunteered. Your child was a hero,’” she said. “What makes him a hero if he was ordered to kill innocent Iraqis?”
Sheehan further acknowledged the Americans and Iraqis who lost their lives in the war and the politicians who put them there.
“It’s bullshit that we’re not impeaching,” she said.
The Pike’s Peak Justice Coalition will take part in Pax Christi's Way of the Cross/Way of Justice procession in downtown Colorado Springs.
A Hartford, CT “Lamentation and Protest” will begin with an interfaith prayer service, followed by a silent procession to the federal building, where marchers will pile stones bearing the names of victims of the Iraq war. Church bells will ring in a number of communities in Massachusetts to mark Moratorium observances.
In Cincinnati, candlelight vigils will be held in eight neighborhoods, and dozens of street corner vigils are planned across the country. Most vigils take place every month, and some have been going since the war began.
In a session called “Write Some Wrongs,” people in Cornwall, CT will meet at the public library to write their Congressman about “what is in your heart about the Iraq war and what you want him to do about it.”
The Iraq Moratorium encourage local organizers to “do their own thing” on the third Friday of the month – but to do something, whatever it is, to end the war. It is all a loosely-knit national grassroots effort operating under the Iraq Moratorium umbrella.
Friday is the seventh monthly Moratorium, and more than 800 events have been listed on the group’s website, IraqMoratorium.org , which has a list of this month's actions and reports, photos and videos from previous months.